Monday, July 6, 2015

The Berry Islands

Our final Bahamas destination for this trip is the Berry Island chain. We sailed downwind from our anchorage at Old Fort Bay on the NW shore of New Providence Island. Our first stop was an anchorage at Devils-Hoffmans Cove. This is a nice anchorage with wind protection but has surge coming in from the cut. Our first spot to anchor got so rolly that we moved to a new spot at high tide. We had lots of fun exploring the uninhabited cays and enjoying the underwater sea life.

We hadn't seen starfish in the Exumas. Lots of them here and sand dollars too.

One of the beaches on one of the cays.

From Devils-Hoffmans we sailed North around Great Stirrup Cay to head past all the shallow waters to Great Harbour Cay. The claim to fame for Great Stirrup is as a stop for cruise ships. The big ships anchor off shore and ferry passengers to a protected bay for fun with jet skis, para-sailing and enjoying the beach.

We anchored in Bullocks Harbour right outside Great Harbour Marina. Miles and miles of great dinghy gunk-holing in this area.

A cut through the mangroves that are around Great Harbour Cay.

We see the after effects of hurricanes throughout the Bahamas. This 'Summer Place' has a draft of probably 8' and is sitting in no more than 4' at high tide and there is no deep water for miles around it.

A hurricane casualty?

Great Harbour has a rich history. The Beach Club was built in 1969 and was a very fancy, dress atire only, very exclusive night club. We met Angie who told us how, as an employee, she was not allowed in the club at night. She disguised herself, dressed to the nines and snuck in. The club was closed and abandoned in 1975.

The old beach club as it sits today. Rumor has it that it was a favorite hang-out for the rat pack, in its day.

There is a fabulous cresent beach on the oceanside within walking distance (although locals stop to give you a ride if they see you walking). We enjoyed the beach and had lunch at the "new" Beach Club.

The people make this cay very special. The nicest we have met. The marina held a party for all the US visitors for our Independence Day (theirs is July tenth). The party included food, drink and arts and craft booths. The proceeds from sales go to the island school. They had a band, a mini Junkanoo and a fireworks display. A fun time was had by all and everyone attended.

We are going to miss the Bahamas....till next time.

It's da Bahamas Mon

I was long overdue for a haircut. In Black Point Exuma the Rockside Laundry also has a sign for haircuts. I dinghy ashore and walk to the restaurant down the street to find the 'barber'. Two phone calls later the bartender finds Ida. "She'll be right by on her golf cart". So I wait out front for about 10 minutes and Ida comes by on her cart telling me she has to check in some guests at her cottage and will be "right back". I walk back down to the laundry to wait for Ida. And wait. And wait. And wait. Me impatient? Nooo.
I finally give up, hop back into the dink and and go back to the boat. About a half hour later I hear a call on the VHF from Rockside laundry looking for the guy who wants a haircut. That's me, eh? So I respond that I'll be right in. Arrive back at the laundry in 5 minutes and her son tells me she'll be right back. 10 minutes later we set up a chair outside to get started with the clip job. About the time she's spritzed my hair, she gets a phone call. The guys who rented her runabout didn't think to see if there was a gas tank before taking off. Made it about 2 miles before the gas in the fuel hose ran out. She sends her son off to fill two 6 gallon fuel tanks. But Ida doesn't have another boat. So she asks me to run the fuel tanks out to the stranded guys. We load the tanks into my dink and I zip over to them and off-load the fuel tanks. There's some trouble making the fitting connect but they finally get it figured out and I'm headed back to the laundry.
Ida finishes my haircut and it's $15 plus tip.
Total time for my haircut, about 3 hours. It's the Bahamas mon.